ACS Omega. 2022 Aug 31;7(36):32225-32237. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c03555. eCollection 2022 Sep 13.
Peculiar physicochemical properties of two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials have attracted research interest in developing new synthetic technology and exploring their potential applications in the field of catalysis. Moreover, ultrathin metal oxide nanosheets with atomic thickness exhibit abnormal surficial properties because of the unique 2D confinement effect. In this work, we present a facile and general approach for the synthesis of single crystalline and ultrathin 2D nanosheets assembly of scrutinyite-SnO2 through a simple solvothermal method. The structural and compositional characterization using X-ray diffraction (Rietveld refinement analysis), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and so on reveal that the as-synthesized 2D nanosheets are ultrathin and single crystallized in the scrutinyite-SnO2 phase with high purity. The ultrathin SnO2 nanosheets show predominant growth in the  direction on the main surface having a thickness of ca. 1.3 nm. The SnO2 nanosheets are further employed for the regioselective Friedel-Crafts acylation to synthesize aromatic ketones that have potential significance in chemical industry as synthetic intermediates of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. A series of aromatic substrates acylated over the SnO2 nanosheets have afforded the corresponding aromatic ketones with up to 92% yield under solvent-free conditions. Comprehensive catalytic investigations display the SnO2 nanosheet assembly as a better catalytic material compared to the heterogeneous metal oxide catalysts used so far in the view of its activity and reusability in solvent-free reaction conditions.